House passes new coronavirus bill

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas House lawmakers have voted in favor of a new coronavirus bill.

The previous bill passed both the House and Senate after a marathon 24-hour final day of session. Governor Laura Kelly vetoed the bill and called lawmakers back for a special session in order to draft and vote on a new coronavirus relief bill.

The new 82-page bill covers topics like liability protection and unemployment benefits. Under the new bill, the state emergency declaration would be extended until September 15, 2020. This will give the governor the ability to continue extending her executive orders and create new orders until that date. However, the bill prevents the governor from closing businesses for more than 15 days. If the governor would like to extend the closures, she must seek permission from the State Finance Council.

The bill will now move on to the Senate floor for debate. According to House leadership, they have been in close communication with Senate leadership and the Governor. Governor Kelly has already stated that she will support the new bill.

In a news release, Governor Kelly applauded Kansas House of Representatives swift action on the bipartisan COVID-19 bill and urged the Kansas Senate to take swift action

“I appreciate the Kansas House of Representatives’ bipartisan and transparent efforts on the passage of the COVID-19 response bill. Today, in spite of their disagreements, they put the interests of Kansans ahead of politics,” Governor Kelly said. “I urge the Senate to swiftly follow their lead, so that we can get Kansas families, businesses and communities the resources they need.”

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